Monday, July 9, 2012

Homemade Garden Tomato Marinara Sauce

Blanching the tomatoes
Marinara and Meatballs

Red Brandywine

Black Firm

Large Red Cherry (they look big in this picture, but they are truly cherry tomatoes, promise!)

Gold Medal Heirloom 

This post is kind of funny because i really cant take credit for any of this...but now that i have fully disclaimered that...let me just ramble on and take credit for all of this.

i think because we got such an early start on our summer garden after our winter garden...and because bryan totally vamped up the soil and turned it real nice...and because sometimes there are just better tomato years...this year has been our earliest crops and our best crops. He planted 10 different plants (gold medal heirloom, beefsteak, 2 beefmaster plants, black firm, mortgage lifter, red brandywine, lg red cherry and 2 un-known to me...but they probably have some cool name). we went away for a long weekend and came back to a huge crop ready for picking. normally we use the tomatoes every day - our favorite is to make a tomato, cucumber, onion and avocado salad with this sesame ginger dressing - soooo good...the best summer salad. or bryan makes salsa, or we use them in sandwiches...but this was a big crop, so i decided to make a marinara sauce with it.

i had looked up how to do it...and had all the ingredients...but the problem was that we have soooo many left-overs in our fridge from 4th of july and such that it seemed silly to make a new big pot of something. well...good thing my mom came over and picked all the tomatoes thereby forcing Spaghetti Sunday back into effect.

The thing about it is that it was much easier to do than i thought...which is probably another reason why i was procrastinating. you want the skins off your tomatoes before they become sauce and the easiest way to do that is to blanch them in boiling water for about a minute and then throw them in an ice bath...the skin slips off - its amazing. then we (and by we i mean mostly my mom) cored them and diced them and threw them in.

For the sauce - this time was a little different since my mom made these amazing italian meatballs first, but normally we (and by we i mean mostly bryan) get some onions sweating in olive oil and garlic...lots of garlic...i never count, but usually i think he uses a whole least 10 cloves and probably 1/2 an onion to a whole onion. And then after the tomatoes we added some herbs from the garden - marinara sauce loves oregano and mom even added mint. some salt and pepper...

but i think the thing i love most about Spaghetti Sundays is that there are always people around to help consume said spaghetti and last night we had lovely company in my (very pregnant) sister, brother in law, mother and two of my boys and my man. it was a truly lovely meal on the porch on a lovely summer night with a glass of nice wine and our new Leonard Cohen record playing. truly memorable. its what family is all about...and i went to bed feeling very blessed and very content.

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